Over the years we bought a lot of yard art at shows. Our first shows were small, local. Size and weight did not matter. Poured concrete pigs and lambs came to live in the garden. We found some poured resin and pebble pots, too, that still flank the front steps. The best piece was the barn stone watering dish, with the heart depression chiseled into the stone.
Several years in we met a couple of women welders from Kentucky. Their forms were big and graceful, and we just had to have a wisteria trellis that was a wisteria. It’s beautiful. When the wisteria attacked the house we tore it out and substituted clematis. That project is only a few years old and the clematis has covered some of the seven foot trellis.
One year in Michigan my booth was across the aisle from a phenomenal artist from Minnesota. He welded fantastical flights of imagination. At the end of the show he had one piece left, which I can only describe as an elderflower. It sways in any breeze at the end of its seven foot stalk. He kindly sold it to me for a pittance. I tried to contact him only a few months later, intent on purchasing more, but mail was returned, no such number, no such name. Artists can be like that.
So, the wisteria and the elderflower grace opposite ends of the front garden. That is a very loose term; in twenty five years it is scarcely improved from the backfill pit that occurred when the addition was built. We’ve occasionally discussed digging out the rubble and putting in dirt. Right. The few plants we’ve established are saved by the weed eater a few times each year.
Last Christmas we attended a local show and I found some copper cattails to go with my elderflower, by an artist from Wisconsin. We even planted them before the ground froze. Then, a few weeks ago, I found another Wisconsinite at another local show. This metal yard art is now so common it is mass produced and the “artist” is merely a reseller. But I liked this fellow’s assembly work. We figured out how to get all I bought into the back seat of Jan’s car.
All my new sculptures stayed in the garage until yesterday. The sun shone. The temperature climbed to near sixty. We went out and planted the new metal.
New stuff on the left; my elderflower on the right
To the pet store for bird seed
Filling the feeder flower
There were chickadees and nuthatches all morning...until the rain started at noon today.